Howard, Dixon Head Honda Attack as Indianapolis 500 Practice Opens
• Jay Howard, Scott Dixon move to the top of the Honda speed chart in afternoon session
• Marco Andretti tops Honda effort in opening practice
• Tuesday the first of four practice days prior to Indianapolis 500 qualifying this weekend
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 15, 2018) – Returning veteran Jay Howard led the way for Honda Tuesday in Opening Day practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in preparation for the May 27 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500.
Joining the Honda-powered Schmidt Peterson Motorsports effort again this year in a one-off effort, Howard posted a best lap speed of 224.518 miles per hour in warm and humid conditions during the second of two full-field practice sessions today. Marco Andretti led the way for Honda in the opening practice, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., and finished the day sixth overall.
Scott Dixon, pole qualifier for last year’s “500”, slotted in between Howard and Andretti on the speed chart, fifth. In all, 34 of the 35 drivers in the field took to the 2.5-mile oval today in an incident-free day halted for 30 minutes by a passing rain shower just after 4 p.m.
Practice activities continue through Friday, with qualifying action to set the field of 33 on the historic 2.5-mile oval scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.
Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) 5th on the Opening Day speed chart: “I think it was a good first day in the PNC Bank car. Opening Day here at Indianapolis is always such a cool deal. The track gets turned over from the road course to the oval, and then you know it’s time to go to work for the 500. We spent the majority of the time today making changes, going out, coming in, and working on the balance of the car.”
Marco Andretti (Andretti Autosport Honda) 6th fastest in Tuesday practice: “To be honest, we still have a lot of work to do on the 98 car. The car has an imbalance at the moment. We need to resolve that issue before we can be satisfied, but I have a good crew behind me and I know they’ll be able to listen to my feedback and give me a more comfortable car tomorrow. Luckily it’s only day one and we have three more days of practice before we qualify.”